"I express my respect for the judicial appointment process and for the judiciary as an institution of governance," Katju said.

SC drops contempt case after Katju apologizes for blog on Saumya verdict
news Court Friday, January 06, 2017 - 16:02

The Supreme Court on Friday brought the curtains down on contempt proceedings initiated against its former judge, Justice Markandey Katju, as it accepted an unconditional apology tendered by him.

The Supreme Court had slapped the contempt of court order on Katju on November 11, when the latter appeared before the bench to explain why he had written a Facebook post criticizing the court’s verdict on the infamous Saumya case of Kerala.

Closing the case, the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit in their order said: "In view of the apology tendered, we accept and close the proceeding." 

"I offer my unconditional apology for publishing the above captioned writings and have deleted the same from my blog entries on Facebook," Katju said in his apology that was read out in the court by senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan appearing for him.

"I express my respect for the judicial appointment process and for the judiciary as an institution of governance," he said.

Urging the court to take his unconditional apology on record, Katju told the court: "I am prepared to read it in open court if I am called upon to do so."

The controversy broke out after the SC gave life imprisonment to Govindachamy for raping 23-year-old Soumya in January 2011 and later reduced the murder charge- awarded by Kerala High Court- to one of assault.  

Following this, Katju took to Facebook to criticize the judgement and said that the apex court had “erred” in its judgement. In an elaborate Facebook post, Katju laid down provisions of the law by which Govindachamy could be charged for murder.

The former SC judge also appeared in several news channels reiterating his opinion on the verdict.

Having taken cognizance of the Facebook post, the court had in October asked Katju to appear before its bench to advance his arguments in the case. 

Katju initially refused to do so citing a certain provision in the constitution prohibiting former judges from appearing in court. However, Katju did appear before the bench a month later, only to have a contempt of court order issued against him.

This was then followed by Katju offering to tender an apology to the court to have the contempt notice lifted. He said that he has deleted all the Facebook posts pertaining to the issue.

(With inputs from IANS)


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